08 May

The Great Forgiveness Experiment


Peace is cherished by all living beings. It is the appreciation of stillness. The freedom from conflict or obligation. Peace is the playground of creativity and the birthplace of love. World peace is a concept that is prayed and hoped for but, in actuality, we really don’t think it’s possible. It seems there are far too many conflicts going on and the rifts are too deep for people to just lay down their arms and strive for the greater ideal of peace. I mean, how can we really expect 2 factions to resolve a conflict that has lasted hundreds of years and taken countless lives when we can’t forgive the guy that just cut us off in traffic? As trivial as it seems, this is where world peace begins. Peace in the world starts with peace in the individual. The practice of forgiveness is our gateway to peace. So, with that in mind, let’s try an experiment!

Forgive one person a day for a week. That’s it. It doesn’t matter who it is or what they’ve done. Just pick one person that has offended you for any reason and forgive them. Here are a few possibilities:

* The guy or gal that cut you off in traffic.
* That person you saw on TV that said something you didn’t like.
* A loved one who betrayed your trust.
* The stranger who rushed past you in the store without saying “excuse me”

It doesn’t matter who it is or how large or small the offense or conflict but it should be a situation that you would not normally forgive. Many believe that the act of forgiveness involves some magnanimous declaration to the offender like “I forgive you!” That’s not exactly what I’m talking about here. Forgiveness is a state of mind that only matters to the forgiver. As such, forgiveness doesn’t require ANY physical or outward action. You don’t have to talk to anyone about it at all for it to be real and lasting. This takes a bit of the pressure off, yes? If bad feelings continue to come up around the person or situation you have chosen to forgive, simply remind yourself that this is no longer a problem and allow yourself to let it go. The beauty of this practice is that it gets easier every time you do it.

I encourage you to journal about your experiences as you seek out the lucky recipients of your forgiveness. Feel free to return to this post and comment on how it’s going for you. Don’t worry, after a week, you can go back to regular activities but you may find that you don’t want to.